Recently, a group of KPBSD teacher leaders met at a statewide conference to learn more about being educational leaders in their district and schools. We followed up on that conference with the group to discuss how to take what they learned and implement it at their schools. I was so impressed with the level of engagement of this group and their commitment to improving their craft! The activities we participated in showed me that we have excellence in our ranks and it is important to support this groups overall leadership capacity. This would also strengthen our collaboration efforts by having teachers direct it.
So, what is this “look for the green box” all about? Well, at the meeting a teacher suggested we fully utilize our technology to promote collaboration. We have Skype for Business in place and available for all of our staff across this district which can allow for an “anytime, anywhere” meetings to improve our instructional practices. Our Skype program allows others to see the availability of an individual. A green box by an individual’s name means they are available, thus just look for a “green box” to collaborate! We have a handful of teachers regularly communicating in this manner by asking quick questions, but the potential is so much greater.
Our district has so many pockets of excellence we must commit to sharing what works so that all students get a great education every day. Yes, using video conferencing to collaborate takes time and some planning, but that investment will pay dividends for our students through improved instruction. There is so much changing in education and in our world that it has become virtually impossible for an individual teacher to meet every expectation in isolation. The paradigm must shift from the concept of one teacher, teaching one subject, to one class, at one time, for one hour to the paradigm of one student accessing innovative practices and personalized learning. This cannot be done in isolation and requires all of us to look for the “green box” to work together across our district with a growth mindset.